Why Use Managed Services in NYC?

managed services nyc

Managed Services are becoming a more popular option for NYC-based businesses that require IT support, security, and Cloud computing outcomes. With so many companies in this busy market securing these services, one has to ask why it has become such a popular offering. A brief overview of the situation reveals that Managed Services in NYC provide low-cost and local services that mitigate damage from downtime in one of the busiest places in the business world.

Managed Services Offer Expert Workers Without Onboarding

A popular reason for businesses to utilize Managed Services is that there is no need for a lengthy and expensive onboarding process for new workers. In fact, many companies that utilize IT services in their company are not hiring full-time staff at all. These businesses rely on companies like AE Technology Group, a WheelHouse IT company, to provide world-class IT services without having to keep someone on the payroll. By doing so, any business will reduce its costs, increase the effectiveness of the work completed, and have a much better chance of having any niche requirements fulfilled by the workers. Instead of hiring staff for IT solutions and more, it’s quicker, easier, and cheaper to hire a Managed Services team.

Our Location Reduces Costs

AE Technology Group has the benefit of being close to NYC while being far enough away to avoid the costs of operating in the city. AE Technology Group has branches on Long Island and in Fort Lauderdale, well outside of the five boroughs of New York City. As a result, the costs of doing business with this Managed Services Provider is often much lower than one would find in the city itself. Any company seeking Managed Services can save money on costs and still receive local business solutions by working with the Long Island branch.

Reduced Downtime Means You Lose Less

The word “downtime” strikes fear into every business manager that is operating in New York City. Every minute that your computers are not processing orders or helping workers get the information they need it means they’re losing money. The only way to stay on top of the busiest city on the planet is by having the best support available. Managed Services can help get your systems back online so that business can resume. AE Technology Group has years of expertise in IT, security, Cloud systems, and backups, meaning that the workers have seen and done it all. Many situations can be resolved off-site, too, reducing the time that it would take to have another business come into the city and diagnose the issue. Safeguard your business against lost time and work with local professionals.

AE Technology Group has Managed Services that provide fast, local, and inexpensive solutions to your everyday business problems. Your small or medium-sized company can feel confident not having an in-house IT department, saving the business time and money while ensuring that the work is completed by experts. Working with a third-party does not mean you are outsourcing the work to a faraway country that doesn’t mind your work hours. AE Technology Group is less than an hour away and poised to help at any time.

Give us a call at (516) 536-5006 or click here to request a quote.

Do Long Island Physicians Need Managed Services to Be Essential?

do long island physicians need managed services to be essential

2020 has been a challenging year for many industries and the healthcare industry is no exception. While many health professionals saw a significant influx of patients from COVID-19, others in healthcare suffered from a lack of patients due to government-mandated lock downs. Although many industries are back on the road to recovery, they are still looking for ways to manage costs in order to prepare for a future that remains a bit uncertain. Today we’re discussing if Long Island physicians need Managed Services and what they provide.

Challenging Times

Even before the pandemic occurred, 59% of healthcare CIOs were reporting increased operating pressures, with 41% reporting funding shortfalls. With the advent of the pandemic, many healthcare budgets experienced dramatic reductions, even as new technologies were needed in order to meet the demands of increased social distancing and higher levels of sanitization within physical spaces.

It should come as no surprise then that every aspect of healthcare, including supporting technologies, have come under budgetary scrutiny. Smaller and recently merged healthcare systems are now looking for ways to continue to have access to all the latest technologies, even while facing significant budgetary pressures. 

Managing Costs with Managed Services

One of the ways in which smaller healthcare settings can reduce costs is by partnering with a managed service provider for their technology needs. One of the great aspects of managed services is that they can easily be scaled up or down as demand requires. This means physicians and smaller clinics only need to pay for services they truly need. If the time comes where they have a need for increased services, they can easily obtain only those additional services they require, without getting locked into a long-term commitment.

Insightful Service

While those in the healthcare industry do need to find ways to cut costs, they must still maintain a high level of service to their patient, as well as adhere to industry standards and HIPAA-compliant protocols. By partnering with a managed service provider, physicians and those in smaller healthcare settings can ensure that all of their supportive technology is properly assessed and monitored to meet compliance standards. 

Security

Since the advent of the pandemic, multiple technology sites noted a dramatic increase in data breaches and other security issues. Beginning in early 2020, data hackers and thieves decided it would be a good time to take advantage of the increased chaos and uncertainty, and significantly ramped up their exploitative efforts. Now more than ever, it’s vital for even smaller clinics and independent physicians to ensure their technology hardware and software tools can withstand increased cyber attacks.

By partnering with a MSP, even healthcare professionals who do not have access to the technology centers found in larger hospitals, can have premiere security protection. A reliable technology service provider makes it their business to stay abreast of current security challenges in order to ensure their clients remain fully protected from both external and internal data threats.

Looking to Learn More?

If you are a physician or small health clinic in the Long Island area who is looking for a comprehensive 24/7/365 solution for your technology needs, including mobile initiatives, collaboration tools, security protection, remote solutions, and more, we can help. Please contact us today. 

Strengthening Business Continuity Is Urgent For Financial Services

strengthening business continuity is urgent for financial services

While most businesses handle at least some customer personally identifiable information on a daily basis, there is little more important than a client’s financial information which consists of what is likely a significant portion of their life savings. Firms that manage investment and savings accounts spend years cultivating relationships with their clients, with complete trust as one of the foundational pillars of these relationships. That’s why strengthening business continuity is so important for financial services organizations.

With data hacks on the rise, financial services organizations must do everything they can to ensure their client’s investments are safe and secure. This also means ensuring they are able to deliver continuous service such as deposits and withdrawals, and even simple account review 24/7/365. Financial services firms must also protect against identity theft and/or impersonation, which can even be more devastating to clients as these types of crimes affect not only their investments, but almost every other aspect of their daily life.

Business Continuity Defined  

In order to understand business continuity, it’s important to define it as it relates to data and information systems. In order for a firm to have continuity of services, they must have a complete solution, not just a plan for backup, but also recovery in the event of a disaster. This means client data is protected both on-premise and in the cloud in order to keep data safe and secure, even in the event of a device failure.

Do Your Backups Measure Up?

Companies still working under the impression that a daily back-up of all corporate data is sufficient, are at high risk for significant problems. This traditional way of viewing backups overlooks many gaps including instances such as when those in charge forget to perform a backup or the process fails in some way. Other potentially disastrous scenarios include losing an entire day’s worth of work after a failure and/or lack of backup validation, which is then discovered to be useless when needed for a restoration.

Other issues can occur from only keeping backups on-site, which means if a disaster such as a tornado, flood, or fire should occur, the backups become useless. Incomplete backups that only include raw data, rather than including other crucial data such as server configuration and application files means it could take several days to get fully back online in the event of a system failure. 

Finding the Optimal Solution

At this point, smaller financial services organizations may recognize they simply do not have the IT resources to implement the right protective strategies to safeguard their clients from irreparable financial harm. Fortunately, there is still a way to fully protect clients and their investments in the event of a disaster, whether natural or manmade. 

For smaller financial organizations, the ideal solution is to outsource their IT needs to a company that also has experience in the financial industry. By partnering with such a firm, smaller companies can be confident they are doing everything they can to protect not only all the valuable assets and information pertaining to their clients, but every online function related to operating their firm. 

An IT firm specializing in the financial industry can handle all compliance and regulatory issues that go along with protecting client data, as well as offering their expertise in the areas of timely hardware and software updates and maintenance, and ensuring the integrity of backups and their restoration process in the event that action becomes necessary. A specialized IT firm can also establish and provide continuous review and maintenance of system security practices within the financial firm. With a firm that specializes both in the IT and financial industries, financial services firms can have the best of both worlds and know they are doing everything they can to maintain the assets and the trust of their clients for decades to come.    

If you are a financial services firm and are ready to update your data backup strategy to industry standards, please contact us.

BlackRock Trojan: Aggressive Viral Menace For Android Device Users

blackrock trojan aggressive viral menace for android device users

A new attack on android applications known as the BlackRock trojan has already targeted over 300 applications on the android operating system, including banking, social media, and dating applications. Any application with payment features, which is most nowadays, has been targeted and users credit card information has been compromised. How does this all work though, and what implications will it have for the future of the android operating system?

The Mechanics of BlackRock

The essential approach that BlackRock takes to get access to your information is it sends out a false Google Update and requests accessibility privileges. After it is granted these privileges it develops its own autonomy and no longer needs further interaction from the user to operate, it does this through granting itself further permissions afterwards. 

Some abilities BlackRock has, are traditional of trojan attacks, and some are quite problematic. It can collect device information, it can perform overlay attacks, but even more concerning, it can prevent antivirus software and even prevent uninstalling, leading to a longer lifespan than most hacks and more damage being done to your device and more of your information being compromised.

The Network and History of BlackRock Malware

Information from the site ThreatFabric has concluded that BlackRock is based on banking malware known as Xerxes, which itself is a version of Lokibot malware, discovered in 2019. Lokibot is part of an underground network of rented malware which circulated in 2016 and 2017. What really caused it to be a ubiquitous problem is when the source code got leaked. 

Android tried to get out in front of the older malware by pushing their newer devices which, with their new hardware, had a natural adaptation curve for implementing the attacks on the new systems. This, unfortunately, didn’t last long. In 2018, MysteryBot dropped, which was an update on the Xerxes system to work with new Android systems. 

The ancestral history of BlackRock is inundated with Lokibot variants. Parasite was a brief problem, although after disappearing from the malware space, Xeres was the direct parent of BlackRock, with the former appearing in 2019 and now, here in 2020, we have BlackRock.

Top Apps That Have Been Threatened

Numerous applications have suffered the injection and compromise of BlackRock, but the most notable are:

  • Gmail
  • Google Play
  • Netflix
  • Wells Fargo
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Many others have been targeted as well, leading to an entire suite of applications being at risk. Millions of users could have been affected and had their financial and contact information now in the hands of hackers, which could be numerous themselves seeing as the above mentioned malware network is vast and diverse.

Implications for Android

Android, being a more open operating system, runs the risk of more of these said attacks if they don’t take a new approach to how they monitor their application base. Two futures exist for android after this latest breach.

One, they stay with the same approach they have now and hope that they can rely on a numbers game, praying that the majority of their apps stay solid with their own individual protection protocols, and hoping the majority of their users stay safe.

The other is they radically change how they monitor their operating system, implementing much more rigorous analysis of their potential apps and making the approval process contain much more scrutiny in their security requirements. 

Either way the future for android will remain risky if they simply ignore the growing underground network of malware. They desperately need to engage in research of this growing corner of the hacking world if they have any hope of maintaining a safe and secure user base.

Get more news, tips and tricks at our blog here.

How to Prepare Your Business for the End of Lockdown

how to prepare your business for the end of lockdown

2020 has held many unexpected challenges along with a wealth of opportunities for collaboration and adaptation in the modern business arena. If there’s one lesson the evolving year has for trend savvy business owners, it’s that today’s workplace is ready for anything. Gone are the days of the traditional 9 to 5. A dynamic, fluid model sets the standard for the future with everyone’s focus on a successful reopening. Consider these key tips on how to prepare your business for the end of lockdown.

Devise a Plan

The current health crisis means exercising strategic flexibility as circumstances may change from day to day. Many businesses aren’t rolling out the reopening balloons just yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start moving towards a normal work week. A staggered schedule is the perfect next step for returning companies.

Consider which roles necessitate an office presence. These positions should be marked as priority for a gradual reopening. Operating at half capacity or rotating shifts throughout the day is an excellent tool for encouraging social distancing and minimizing a crowded workspace.

Discuss any safety concerns with your key workers and be prepared to accommodate any health or scheduling related anxieties for vulnerable staff. Remember, some of your best teammates may still be playing part-time teacher to their children as well as full time executives! Phasing into a reopening as well as maintaining clear lines of communication with employees, vendors, and clients will ensure everyone knows what to expect by the time the red ribbon is cut and the doors are open on Monday morning.

Be Proactive in Prevention

The best way to ensure a successful reopen and mitigate the chance of future closures is to support your team’s health and wellbeing. It’s a great idea to invest in essential PPE such as masks, hand sanitizer, and plexiglass dividers. Arrange office spaces accordingly, allowing for 6-feet of distance between work stations. They may mean utilizing non-traditional spaces such as conference and break rooms as open workspaces for ongoing collaboration.

Consider implementing varying hours to avoid the 8 a.m. rush or having multiple side doors for entry and exit. Now that travel has resumed (and many of our stressed out parents are in need of a vacation), clearly communicate protocol for out of state excursions such as mandatory 14-day remote work or wearing masks following any long distance travel. Use signage on sinks to remind everyone of the power of hand washing and don’t be afraid to invite your employees to collaborate on ways we as a team can make the office a cleaner, safer environment. Re-engaging your staff is a vital part of the reopening process and a great way to ensure your team feels that their feedback is valuable and timely.

Clients, Vendors, and Training for What’s Ahead

With a staff schedule finalized, the next priority is to alert key contacts of the reopening as well as any potential changes to normal business hours. For vendors, ensure department managers are equipped to communicate their needs and work alongside supplier availability. Many vendors will also be operating under reduced hours so it’s important to schedule deliveries well in advance in order to accommodate any hard and fast deadlines.

Once the technical details have been worked out, it’s time to tell clients that you’re back in business. Remember to keep the tone of all communications positive and encouraging while maintaining a sense of reliability in the midst of COVID-19. Clearly announce any limited hours, state whether masks will be required, and what (if any) services have not yet resumed. Advanced appointment booking and contactless payment are excellent tools for making everyone feel safe while returning to normal. Be sure to spread the message on all digital communications platforms, using email, SEO, and blog announcements to get the word out.

Last but not least, don’t slack on training due to the current health crisis. Technology is more important now than ever for keeping us connected and delivering efficient products and services. Hackers and cyber criminals are quick to take advantage of the growing number of remote workers. Every staff member plays a significant role in ensuring data and confidential information is protected. 

Schedule a virtual meeting to discuss common phishing schemes, particularly those centered around COVID-19 and other recent scams to be aware of, and take a moment to review firewalls and system integrity. Your IT team has you covered as you begin the next phase of your company’s future.